Food is not easy to come by when visiting Angkor Wat. Or, more accurately, it’s not easy to find decent food at a reasonable price within the temple complex. There are numerous vendors and small restaurants to serve the tourist masses, but they all charge rather high tourist prices–these are not places for the budget-conscious tourist.
Obviously, the smartest route would be to buy some food in Siem Reap before heading to Angkor Wat for the day. This wasn’t really possible considering how late I arrived the previous day and how early I had to leave in the morning. By the time I reached Angkor Wat for the second time of the day, after the sunrise visit, I was starving. Add the heat to the equation, and I wasn’t the happiest of tourists–I really just wanted something to sustain me until I found some air conditioning.
Along the left side of Angkor Wat were stalls full of vendors and a few outdoor restaurants. The prices weren’t outrageous, but were certainly more than I wanted to spend–and I would guess that the food isn’t the best either. All I stopped for was a cold coconut for a dollar that I hoped would give me enough energy to find some food.
Back out in the parking lot, I came across some food stalls further from the tourist crowds–it looked like tuk-tuk drivers were in the area. When I asked at one of the stalls, I was told almost everything was about $2 and included rice. I ordered a large piece of barbecued chicken and relaxed in the shade. It tasted better knowing that I could’ve ordered something similar inside Angkor Wat for 4-5 times the price. I also liked that the vendor tried to talk with me despite only being able to speak a few words of English–he was very happy when I said I enjoyed my lunch.
Have you ever found better food slightly away from the crowds of a major tourist destination?